• Judith

When getting up is hard to do......

I am a late riser! I have always been and at 58 I’ve finally resigned to the fact that I always will be. Those that know me well will remember the problems of getting me out of bed for school of a morning. When I reached high school, I would most days be caught speeding down the local High Street hill on my dragster 5 minutes after the roll call bell went. Thank goodness my home teacher would look out the window and see me hurtling down that hill and mark me present! The number of times I was late for work I’ve lost count of except for two different jobs where I was nearly always on time….working afternoon shifts. I also remember well the clinking of a teaspoon against the wall of a cup as my husband (at the time) put together a good strong coffee to get me up and functioning so we could do the parenting gig….dress and feed children and get them off to school. It was hard parenting children when I was a late riser!

As I’ve gotten older and raised three sons with Autism, I’ve also learnt a lot about sleep disorders. Two of my sons have a sleep disorder called Non-24 hour sleep/wake disorder (1). It’s listed with The National Organization for rare Disorders (NORD). There’s also a circadian rhythm disorder called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) (2) and it seems to be the explanator for my problematic sleep patterns. DSPS is often found in the teenage population but can occur at any age and upon reflection my sleep patterns were affected by DSPS from about the age of 8 years.

Sleep disorders such as these are common but often unrecognized in the autistic population, with sleep issues usually put down to defiance with going to bed and giving up screen time. If your child or teenager exhibits any of the symptoms of these circadian rhythm disorders yell out for help before you yell at the kids f

Heading off to School

or being rebellious at bedtime. They may well have a sleep disorder that little is known about particularly in Australia.

1. Non-24 hour sleep/wake disorder


2. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome


Photo Credit: My mum or dad

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